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York College staff member balancing work, school, and being a parent to a fellow Spartan

headshot of Kelly Arcieri

“You are never too old, and it is not too late to set new goals and have new dreams,” says Kelly Arcieri, Internship/Co-op Advisor for Civil Engineering and Computer Science majors. This is her motto as a new graduate student in the Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership and Management program at York College of Pennsylvania.

Arcieri has always dreamed of continuing her education after earning her undergraduate degree in English, but life placed those plans on hold. She went on to work in development for 30 years as she raised a family of three children with her husband. 

Finding the right time

With her three children grown and her youngest in her first year at YCP, Arcieri found it was the right time for her to go back to school and earn a graduate degree. She began the program in summer 2020 and then in October of this year she went from working part-time to full-time. “I have to say, it’s been very interesting,” says Arcieri. “I’m an employee, a student, and I’m a parent, so, I get all kinds of communications from York College.” It’s a unique position to be in.

Previously, Arcieri worked at York Country Day School on a campaign with Joanne Wilkes of the Development Office at the College, now the Engineering Co-Op Program Coordinator. Wilkes recommended that Arcieri rejoin the higher education field working with the engineering programs. “I have to say, she was right. It is a fabulous job. I get to teach, which I love to do. I get to work with students, whom I adore. They’re great students—our engineering students are wonderful. They’re very committed. They’re pleasant, polite, they’re all of those things that make my job so much easier,” says Arcieri. “And then, I also get to work with the employers.” It’s a position that allows her interaction on both the educational and professional level, and she has the opportunity to make those connections to benefit her students.

For Arcieri, it’s mostly about seeing where this graduate degree may take her. “In higher education, that master’s degree is so important,” she says. “So, if there is an opening at York College that looks like it might be a good fit for me—I love Career Services—in order to move into those kinds of positions, you need that master’s degree.” Her plan is to continue working for the College over the next 10 years or so and see where things take her.

A true mix of students

In her Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership and Management courses so far, Arcieri has found a well-rounded curriculum. The program while part of the Graham School of Business includes not only the business components, but also integrated marketing communication, leadership, and more. “I like that it’s a degree that pulls from a bunch of different disciplines,” says Arcieri.

Designed as “go-at-your-own-pace,” some students have just earned their undergraduate while others are professionals working full-time in a variety of fields." One of my favorite things about the program has been the diversity of my classmates. I have been in class with other full-time professionals as well as recent graduates, and I've enjoyed the variety of student perspectives," says Arcieri. It is a 10-course program that takes about two years with most students typically carrying two courses per semester. She expects to graduate in December 2022.

Perks of the job

As a full-time employee of York College, Arcieri has the benefit of a discount for tuition on her graduate programming. And, as she is also a parent, she has a full-tuition remission (full-tuition-paid) benefit that her children can take advantage of. Her daughter, Mia Arcieri ’24 is living on campus and enrolled in the Education program. The employee benefit allows for both students to not worry about the costs so much and focus more on their coursework, employment, and obtaining their degrees. "The graduate tuition reduction is a great benefit for anyone hoping to advance their career, especially in higher ed," says Arcieri. 


For more information on employee benefits, please visit York College Human Resources.